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Writings By Community Members

Questions for Funders to Reflect on

Yesterday was the first in a series of leanring events on participatory grantmaking to launch my Fellowship report — Grassroots Grantmaking Embedding Participatory Approaches in Funding. You can find the report and the other learning sessions at www.hannahpaterson.com.

At the Participatory Grantmaking 101 session I did a reverse Q&A where I asked the attendees a number of questions to reflect and ponder on and I invite you to do the same.

  • Do you think you’re the best person to make the decisions you do? or
  • Do you think the people who make decisions about where funding goes are the best people to make those decisions?
  • How often do you feel deflated by decision making meetings in your organisations?
  • How often do you feel elated and excited by a decision making meetings in your organisations?
  • How long have you been doing decision making in the same way in your organisation? When was the last time it changed? Was this a fundamental review or just a little tinkering with the agenda?
  • How much of your time in decision making is spent talking about governance and risk?
  • How much is spent talking about the idea and the impact?
  • How long does it take people in your organisation to truly understand an ‘issue’ you are making a decision on?
  • How long do you work on an ‘issue’ before it changes? Are you stuck in a cycle of not knowing enough, learning and lot, then moving to a different topic?
  • Do you make decisions on things that you know little or nothing about?
  • How would you feel if the organisation applying for funding, a service user or someone from that community could hear your decision making conversation about their application?
  • Where does the wealth that you distribute come from? Is it an investment, through a business e.g. making and selling a product, a lottery/gambling?
  • What does your organisation invest in? Arms, oil, fossil fuels?
  • If your organisation spends money that is created through production, sales are the people who are producing or selling paid minimum (living!) wages? Are they safe at work? Do they live in poverty?
  • How involved are the communities that made the wealth possible in the work that you do?
  • Do you know why you do things in the way that you do? Is it because it is the right thing to do or the thing that has always been done?

Please do share any other questions that you think others might like to think about

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